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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 2064
AUTHOR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945)
QUOTATION: The frontier of America is on the Rhine.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, by a member or members of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, meeting in executive session at the White House, January 31, 1939.—Whitney H. Shepardson and William O. Scroggs, The United States in World Affairs, p. 104 (1940).

Reports of this remark caused an outcry by American isolationists and in the German press, while they gave courage to the British and French. Roosevelt vehemently denied the remark, calling it a “deliberate lie” at his press conference on February 3.—The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939, p. 113 (1941).

Representative John A. Martin referred to this in remarks in the House during a discussion of building military airplanes: “A controversy has been raging over an alleged private remark of the President that the frontier of America is on the Rhine. Whether he said it or not, the frontier of America has been on the Rhine, and beyond. An American Army has trod the soil of Germany. The American frontier has been on the coasts of Europe, of Africa, and of Asia, when those coasts were vastly more distant from ours than they are today.”—Congressional Record, February 14, 1939, vol. 84, p. 1394.
SUBJECTS: World War II (1939–1945)